The arrival of a certain fitness guru and lockdown PE teacher in Belfast last week created a real buzz around the city with more than 300 runners taking to the streets on an early autumn morning for a chance to jog with the Body Coach.
And while it was fantastic to see Joe Wicks bring people together to exercise, it was the enthusiasm of the families, couples and individuals who embraced his arrival and headed for the streets before dawn that brought the most encouragement to Jamie Cromie, General Manager at Better Gym Belfast.
“As a manager at Better Gym Belfast, I see day in day out the value that regular physical activity can have on our quality of life,” he said.
“Be it the first thing you do in the morning or a post-work session, the impact on our stress levels, mental outlook and physical wellbeing is invaluable.
“Over 18 months on from the onset of the Covid-19 pandemic, we at Better are conscious of the need to get people back to the gym. We hear from our customers, our fitness instructors and even our families about their newfound sense of appreciation for what once appeared simple; joining a gym class, fitting in a morning swim or heading for a run.”
But just as technology was what kept us together in the midst of the global pandemic, it also has the power to support our recovery and transform the health and wellbeing of the people of Belfast.
“Committed to empowering individuals to live healthier and happier lives, we are pleased to be running the Belfast Fitness Challenge,” Jamie continued, “an opportunity to get fit for free at our 14 centres across the city.
“Using the latest FitQuest technology developed and recommended by sports scientists, our initiative provides scientifically robust fitness measurements to give gym users an accurate report of their fitness levels, regardless of their preferred form of exercise.
“We are inviting the public to join us for their free fitness assessment at one of our FitQuest kiosks in Andersonstown, Lisnasharragh, Better Gym Belfast and Olympia Leisure Centres, where they can take the test and receive their results confidentially.”
Whether the recommendations be weight loss, muscle strength or cardiovascular fitness, the gym’s team of professional fitness instructors will then provide a personalised workout plan, free month-long membership to be used across the city, and tailored nutritional advice to build on the results.
“After a difficult 18 months for us all, there is no doubt we have emerged with a different outlook on what is really important in life,” Jamie added.
“Rebuilding our lives and looking to the future following the most disrupting health crisis of a lifetime, our physical and mental health must top that priority list.”
Residents of Belfast can sign up to the programme via https://www.better.org.uk/leisure-centre/belfast/gym-belfast before 5pm on Sunday 24 October.